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Netflix no longer feels the need for She's Gotta Have It

Photo: David Lee (Netflix)

After two seasons on the streaming airwaves, Netflix has decided that it no longer has need of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, a TV adaptation of his original 1986 film. Starring DeWanda Wise, Anthony Ramos, Lyriq Bent, and Cleo Anthony, the show (like the film) centered on Wise’s Nola, a young Brooklynite juggling the attentions of three different men and one woman, along with her desires for sexual independence.

It’s a premise that we (and Lee) struggled with; in her pre-air write-up of the season, our own Ashley Ray-Harris dubbed it “perhaps Lee’s best work in decades,” especially praising Wise for giving “a brilliant, moving performance.” Regular episode reviewer Ali Barthwell was less effusive, though, dinging several episodes for being pedantic, dour or dated, and finding the finale too rooted in Nola’s point of view to give a clear view of more nuanced dynamics. (Meanwhile, the show’s second season, which moved past the source material of the original film, was reportedly even worse.) As Lee’s first real experiment in serialized TV, She’s Gotta Have It will likely go down somewhere between a milestone and a footnote, but regardless, it’s now over—although streaming service content honcho Ted Sarandos was quick to note that Lee is a “genius filmmaker” who’s still working on another movie for the company, titled Da 5 Bloods.

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